Highland Sensory Garden expands, thanks to Lowes
Volunteers came out on a Saturday in June to work on Highland School's Sensory Garden. Lowe's Home Improvement Store donated more than $2,000 in materials and some of its employees to help work on the garden. | Photo courtesy of Highland School
Updated: August 6, 2012 6:27AM
Highland School’s Sensory Garden has proved such a hit with students and others that summer break hasn’t deterred them from working on it.
About 35 volunteers — including students — came to school on a Saturday in June to expand the garden thanks to contributions from Lowes Hometown Heroes program, which included participation from its stores on Touhy Avenue in Lincolnwood and Willow Road in Northbrook.
Lowes donated more than $2,000 worth of materials and 15 employees who helped dig, plant and build. They were joined by Highland School staff members, including Principal Leslie Gordon, Highland Parent Teacher Association parents and kindergartners through fifth grade students.
The event was coordinated by Lowes Lincolnwood store manager Rick Flannagan, Northbrook store manager Ryan Klatt and Highland teacher and garden chair Linda Hunsicker.
“We have created an amazing space in which our children can engage with nature,” said Gordon. “Thanks to Lowes, we have been able to complete our five-year plan for the garden in just one day.”
The garden includes raised beds for growing fruits and vegetables, window boxes containing herbs and flowers for touching and smelling, cozy seating areas for children to interact with friends, a vine covered tunnel for crawling, a bird feeding, nesting and bathing area, a compost drum and a rain barrel.
The donated materials also included two indoor planting carts to help extend the growing season into the classrooms.
Contributions of funds and/or materials to the Sensory Garden were also made by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, West End Florist in Evanston, Firestone Tires in Skokie and Home Depot in Evanston.
The big workday in June doesn’t mean the end of care for the garden this summer.
Summer garden volunteers will water, weed and harvest the garden throughout July leading up to the students’ return to school in mid-August.